Clarice Assad


Allentown Symphony Residency

2023 | 2024

For the 2023-24 season, the symphony has selected the composer Clarice Assad to be part of the prestigious Composer in Residence program.

Allentown Symphony announces composer Clarice Assad as the 2023-2024 Composer-in-Residence.

Allentown Symphony announces Chicago-based, Brazilian-American female composer Clarice Assad as the 2023-2024 Composer-in-Residence

A diverse and engaging two-year project encompassing performances, education, and outreach components.

Chris Rogerson was chosen by the ASA as the inaugural Composer in Residence following an election committee of composers from our community partners. In the winter of 2019, Schools collaborated closely with Music Director Diane Wittry in a process that featured public presentations by three finalists and a round of votes from community members.

For the 2023-24 season, the symphony has selected the composer Clarice Assad to be part of the prestigious Composer in Residence program. Assad exhibits an inexhaustible source of enthusiasm for connecting with students of all ages and advocates for cultivating audiences that support new compositions. Assad will serve as a mentor in local schools, guiding younger composers through readings and workshops.  Additionally, a team of Consortium faculty will collaborate to design tailored programs for each classroom visit. The residency further entails a commission for an orchestral piece and engaging activities scheduled on the following dates in Allentown from Sunday, October 22 to Wednesday, October 25, 2023!

Monday, October 23 – Dive into the heart of music education as we visit High Schools and Colleges in the morning and afternoon.

 Monday, October 23 – Join us for a captivating Chamber Rehearsal from 7 pm to 10 pm, where the magic of music takes center stage.

Tuesday, October 24 – Continuing our music education journey, we’ll visit High Schools and Colleges in the morning.

Tuesday, October 24 – A New Music Chamber Concert, curated by Assad awaits you from 7 pm to 9 pm. Experience the brilliance of innovative compositions.

The new piece will premiere on November 11th. 2023.

Title of Work: 


Circus Fantasia, for Chamber Orchestra

Duration: 7-8 minutes  

Instrumentation: 2,2,2,2-2,2,0,0-tmp + 1 – strings 



Amidst ever-changing times, the circus—a fascinating art form—always faces challenges, adapting gracefully to modernity. In the middle of competition from diverse entertainment forms, though it struggles to continue to thrive, it never truly dies; it simply evolves because of its need for survival.   I grew up in rural Rio de Janeiro, where almost no culture or entertainment reached us. But the circus would always come to town and joyfully fill our young hearts by weaving dance, theater, and acrobatics into a chaotic celebration. Creative storytelling and awe-inspiring skills captivated a diverse audience, and I am grateful for these early years of my life. 

“Circus Fantasia,” a work for a chamber orchestra, unlocks the doors to this enchanting world almost lost in my childhood memories— The composition brims with playfulness and theatricality, extending a musical invitation to embark on a wondrous adventure in the circus ring. The piece encapsulates the spirit of an art form that defies the hands of time, inviting the listener to witness the essence of the circus—where dreams unfold, and imagination takes flight.